BLOG Testing & PrEP /
PrEP, a new protection against HIV

Maybe you only use condoms sometimes, or seldom, or don’t use them at all. Maybe you want to lower your risk of getting HIV, but condoms don’t always work for you. In that case, PrEP can be something that can help you. Using PrEP means taking a medicine that lowers the risk of getting HIV. PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. The medicine is named Truvada, but there are also cheaper versions with other names from different companies. If you want to use PrEP, you have to be completely sure you do not have the HIV virus. PrEP gives a very high level of protection, but not 100%. Forgetting a pill = less effective protection. Take your pills every day. PrEP does not protect against chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis. Condoms are the only thing that lower the risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases. PrEP can have side effects. It is important to get check-ups while taking the medicine. Ask your doctor to check up the current recommendations from “Referensgruppen för antiviral terapi”. PrEP is an approved medical product in Sweden, and it is part of the high-cost protection system. This means that you never pay more than SEK 2 200 per year for prescription medicine. Right now, in January 2018, it is extremely difficult to get PrEP through the health care system, but this may change. Check en.sexperterna.org for up-to-date information. Some tips: It’s easy to forget to take your medicine. Here are some ways to help you remember: Set a daily alarm on your mobile phone. […]

 

Testing & PrEP /
Introduction

Condoms provide by far the best protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but they still don’t provide 100% protection. Even if you always use a condom, it may be a good idea to get tested for STIs. There are different STIs and they can affect you in different ways. Untreated STIs have a negative impact on the body, sometimes without the person noticing. If you have an STI it could also increase your susceptibility to other STIs and HIV. So it’s a good idea to get tested regularly, even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms of an infection. By getting tested, you take control of your own health. For people selling sex, we recommend to get tested every three months.  Safer sex means making a conscious effort to minimize the risk of transmitting STIs. Keeping an eye on your own health is a good start. If you know you have an STI you can do something about it – such as get treatment, but you can also avoid passing it on. Many STIs have no visible symptoms, so many people don’t realize they have one, but they can still be bad for your health and be passed on to others. Most infections can be cured and are easy to treat if they’re discovered in time. Untreated STIs also increase susceptibility to HIV. Testing can also put your mind at ease. If you’re worried or just want to check, go and get tested! Everyone has an HIV status, but not everyone is certain what […]

 

Testing & PrEP /
PEP

  PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) can be a savior in an emergency when things don’t according to plan, like a condom splitting. PEP is a relatively effective treatment that reduces the risk of HIV being transmitted, but it does not offer 100 % protection. PEP can be given if an HIV negative has had unprotected sex with an HIV positive person in the past 36 hours. The sooner you get PEP, the better. The PEP treatment is not a single pill but a 30 day treatment. Afterwards you are recommended to get tested after six weeks, 12 weeks and 6 months. PEP treatment is available Venhälsan at Södersjukhuset in Stockholm and the ER at Karolinska Sjukhuset in Huddinge. For availability in other cities, ask your local health care or send us an e-mail for more info. 

 

Testing & PrEP /
Smear test

If you were born with a vagina, 23 and over and have not changed your social security number, you will routinely be called in for a smear test every three years to find out if there have been any cell changes in your cervix. You will receive this notice to attend a smear test, and must go, even if you haven’t had sex (but if you’ve never had sex you don’t need to get tested). It may seem like a hassle or an inconvenience to go for smear tests, but you’re called so that you can have a better overview of your health. Many women who have sex with women choose not to go to these smear tests because they think them unnecessary, but HPV can easily be transmitted between women too. Remember, whether or not you have sex with men, these tests are an important way of helping you keep an eye on your health. The smear tests are carried out at gynecology clinics and young people’s health centers, and the samples are taken by scraping a small speculum, cotton bud or brush against the cervix. The test takes just a couple of minutes, it’s painless and also free of charge. If the tests show cell changes, they will be followed up with an HPV test. In 2010 the examination method changed and only one test is now necessary.

 

Testing & PrEP /
Stockholm

  VENHÄLSAN – THE GAY MENS HEALTH CLINIC The Gay Mens Health Clinic at Södersjukhuset (Stockholm South General Hospital) is specifically intended for men who have sex with men. The clinic has introduced drop-in times, so you generally don’t have to make an appointment, whether you’re getting tested for HIV or an STI. The clinic is open daytime for people who live with HIV, and an afternoon clinic for all men who have sex with men. At the afternoon clinic, you don’t need to make an appointment for an HIV or STI test. If a lot of people drop in, the clinic may stop accepting new patients after a certain time. Phone: 08-616 25 00 Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 15:00-18:00. There might be other opening hours during summer and the holidays.  Address: NEW ADRESS! Sjukhusbacken 14 at Södersjukhuset, to the right of the main entrance, one floor down. Take the green metro line to Skanstull and then bus no. 3 towards Södersjukhuset. Blue bus no. 3 also goes from Slussen, for instance. If you’re coming from Gullmarsplan, or Odenplan/Kungsholmen/Hornstull, you can also take blue bus no. 4 which stops nearby. Here is a map for you!

 

Testing & PrEP /
Göteborg

  For HIV testing in Gothenburg, please check out this page for updated information on this. It is in Swedish unfortunately. If Google Translate does not do any good, please e-mail us and we can provide you with updated info. 

 

Testing & PrEP /
Checkpoint Skåne

  If you sell sex, you can get tested at CheckPoint Skåne, which is run by RFSL Rådgivningen Skåne located in Malmö.  CheckPoint Skåne is a community based centre where men who have sex with men can take HIV tests and get an answer within 20 minutes. Here, you can also talk to someone about sex, sexuality and HIV. Everyone who works here is bound by confidentiality, which means everything you say will be kept secret. You do not have to tell anyone your name, you can be anonymous. If you know your HIV status, you can protect yourself and those you have sex with better. For more information, call 040-611 99 51, or send an email to checkpoint@rfsl.se. You do not need to book a time, just come in. The centre is open on Tuesdays, except holidays, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. In the summer, and around Christmas and New Year’s, opening times can be different. Check our homepage for current info, unfortunately it is not avaliable in English. Our address is Drottninggatan 36 in Malmö (map). Welcome!

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